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The Sherman Antitrust Act was a federal statute passed by the Congress in 1890. Primarily penned by Sen. John Sherman, it was an act to protect trade and commerce against uncontrollable monopoly. For more information on The Sherman Antitrust Act read the fact file below or download our comprehensive worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
- In 1890, the U.S Congress passed the first antitrust law through the Sherman Act. It was one of the three core federal antitrust laws together with the Federal Trade Commission Act and the Clayton Act.
- Senator John Sherman (1823-1900), was a U.S Senator from Ohio. He served as the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Secretary of State under Pres. William McKinley, and Pres. Hayes’ Secretary of Treasury. Sherman was the primary author of the first antitrust act of America.
- It was the first federal attempt to prevent the concentration of economic powers among the few large corporations such as trusts.
- Prior to the Sherman Antitrust Act, trusts came to dominate America’s economy resulting in monopolies. Trusts can be defined as the arrangement of several stockholders consolidating their shares to a single set of trustees. Monopolies were established prohibiting fair trade to small businesses. Unregulated monopolies tend to control the market price. It also hinders the natural course of competitive market, thus damaging the economy.
- The Standard Oil Trust (1882) was the most famous trust, controlling 90% of the oil refinery industry. The same applied to industries such as sugar, tobacco, railroads, and steel.
- Market competitors were eliminated through various techniques including buying out, intimidation and violence, and control over the customers and products.
- The Sherman Antitrust Act was a result of intense public opposition to large monopolies. Small businesses and farmers protested due to high charges on their products’ transport dues, specifically by railroad companies.
- Prior to the Sherman Antitrust Act, several states enacted antitrust acts to address problems of trade and commerce, but they were all limited to intrastate business.
- The Antitrust Act was signed into law by Pres. Benjamin Harrison after an overwhelming vote by the Congress. It authorized the Federal Government to dismantle existing trusts and to preserve a competitive market. In addition, it could institute proceedings and investigations against trusts and cartels.
- Provisions were enforceable by the Department of Justice through the federal courts. Violations were punishable by fines and imprisonment, while some firms were dissolved.
- President Theodore Roosevelt’s 1904 “trust-busting” campaigns were a success for the Sherman Antitrust Act, which moved for the dissolution of the Northern Securities Company. In 1911, Pres. William Howard Taft further employed the act against the Standard Oil Trust and the American Tobacco Company.
- By 1914, the Clayton Antitrust Act and the Federal Trade Commission were enacted to support the Sherman Antitrust Act.
- Henry Villard, president of the North Pacific Railway, led the campaign to repeal the act, which later failed.
- The concept of a monopolized market tends to control the very nature of a commercial society. By making innovation rare, due to non-competition of producers, customers were offered little variety.
The Sherman Antitrust Act Worksheets
This bundle contains 11 ready-to-use The Sherman Antitrust Act Worksheets that are perfect for students who want to learn more about The Sherman Antitrust Act which was a federal statute passed by the Congress in 1890. Primarily penned by Sen. John Sherman, it was an act to protect trade and commerce against uncontrollable monopoly.
Download includes the following worksheets:
- Sherman Antitrust Act Facts
- Senator John Sherman
- Economic Glossary
- Other Antitrust Acts
- Cartels Word Search
- Let’s Play Monopoly!
- Color Red or Blue
- Sherman Case Study
- Picture Analysis
- Poster Making
- Let’s Sum Up
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Link will appear as Sherman Antitrust Act (1890) Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, June 16, 2017
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